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Collection Number: 01459-z

Collection Title: Ellen Louise Power Diary, 1862-1863

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 2 items
Abstract The collection is a diary, 1 January 1862-28 September 1863, of Ellen Louise Power of East Feliciana Parish, La. The diary documents daily activities including household and social affairs. Many entries describe civilian relief efforts during the Civil War, shortages in goods brought about by the war, the departure of slaves from neighboring plantations, and the local response to the Union attacks on New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and nearby Port Hudson.
Creator Power, Ellen Louise, 1841-1917.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Ellen Louise Power Diary #1459-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Typed transcription available.
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Anna Young of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April 1948.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Ellen Louise Power (1841-1917) was a young woman preparing to marry at the time she began to keep this diary. Kept from 1 January 1862 to 28 September 1863 in an account book, the diary contains daily entries recording household activities, social affairs, and local news.

Power apparently resided in the country near Jackson, Louisiana, possibly on a large farm or plantation, as there are some references to servants, and a brief commentary on a "darkey's wedding." Entries contain references to music lessons, sewing, baking, visits, and social affairs --or, as war approached, the lack thereof. Power mentioned many names of family members, friends, neighbors, and various guests, including Confederate soldiers in the area. Many entries contain information relating to the impact of war on East Feliciana.

Power began the diary on New Year's Day, 1862, while in bed with typhoid fever, which she feared she would pass on to her mother. The earliest entries document household and social activities: Power described making gloves, sewing dresses, dyeing threads, baking breads and "Confederate cakes," quilting, knitting, and sewing, as well as attending concerts, picnics, and tableaux, and receiving a steady stream of guests at her home.

References to military activity increase in entries for the spring of 1862, when Union troops took New Orleans and proceeded to Baton Rouge. Topics include news of battles and casualties, civilian relief efforts, war shortages, and the departure of slaves from neighboring plantations. Of particular interest are entries from May through July 1863, as the Union army attacked and captured Port Hudson, bringing the war to East Feliciana. Several entries record the Power family's efforts to aid Confederate soldiers. In June 1863, Union soldiers ransacked the Powers' home.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Marla Miller, August 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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